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The Associated Press | February 6, 2014

Top 25:
Cincy surges by UConn

No. 7 Cincinnati beats No. 22 Connecticut 63-58

CINCINNATI -- Sean Kilpatrick scored 26 points, and Justin Jackson led a second-half surge that rallied No. 7 Cincinnati to its 15th consecutive win 63-58 versus No. 22 Connecticut on Thursday night.

The Bearcats (22-2, 11-0 American Athletic) trailed most of the game, their first with a No. 7 ranking that is their highest in 10 years. A crowd of 12,432 -- their biggest of the season -- watched them close it out with free throws.

Cincinnati has won 18 in a row at home, including all 16 this season. The Bearcats are off to their best start in 12 years.

Jackson had six points and blocked a shot during a 13-4 run that rallied Cincinnati midway through the second half. Jermaine Sanders' two free throws with 18.5 seconds left gave Cincinnati a 61-58 lead.

UConn's Niels Giffey missed a 3-point shot, and Kilpatrick got the rebound, was fouled and made both free throws.

Shabazz Napier scored 16 points for the Huskies (17-5, 5-4).

No. 2 Wildcats grind out 67-65 win against Ducks

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Nick Johnson scored 18 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points and 10 rebounds in place of injured starter Brandon Ashley and No. 2 Arizona grinded out a 67-65 victory against Oregon on Thursday night.

Coming off its first loss of the season, Arizona (22-1, 9-1 Pac-12) labored offensively in its first game without Ashley, who is out for the season with a foot injury.

As they have so many times this season, the Wildcats pulled out a victory by turning up the defensive pressure late to overcome a 4-for-16 effort from 3-point range and 16 missed free throws.

T.J. McConnell hit a 3-pointer with 90 seconds left and Johnson went 5 of 6 from the free-throw line in the final minute to prevent the Wildcats' first losing streak of the season.

Oregon (15-7, 3-7) kept up with Arizona and led late in the second half, but stumbled down the stretch.

With Payne back, Michigan State routs Penn State 82-67

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Adreian Payne scored 12 points in his return from a foot injury, and No. 9 Michigan State kept pace atop the Big Ten with an 82-67 victory against Penn State on Thursday night.

Payne hadn't played since Jan. 7 because of a sprained foot, but although he didn't start Thursday, he did play 18 minutes, going 5 of 9 from the field. The Spartans (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten) were still nowhere near full strength. Keith Appling, who has been dealing with a wrist problem, sat out, and Branden Dawson is still out because of a broken hand.

Kenny Kaminski scored a career-high 19 points for the Spartans.

Tim Frazier scored 22 points for Penn State (12-11, 3-7), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

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